Sun launches global group focused on telcos

Sun Microsystems is aiming to drive further growth in its most profitable sector, the telecommunications market, by creating a new global organization charged with courting telecom companies.

The Santa Clara, California, company launched its Global Telco Industry Community Entity (ICE) on Wednesday, announcing Darrell Jordan-Smith as the group's vice president. Previously, Jordan-Smith headed Sun's largest worldwide account, U.K. telecommunications giant Vodafone.

The new industry-focused organization is one of many being created in Sun as part of an internal revamp of its operations. Other global groups are being formed to target the financial services, government, energy, manufacturing, health sciences and retail sectors, according to Jordan-Smith. Each industry organization will be headed by its own vice president.

"Essentially Sun has gotten back to profitability and now we are really focused on growth," Jordan-Smith said.

Sun has invested millions of dollars in the new group and assembled a team of about 50 employees, he said. New hires comprise around 80 percent of the team and many hail from large telcos, he added.

They will be targeting "all the usual suspects," according to Jordan-Smith. These include BT Group, France Telecom and Verizon Communications. Sun will be offering infrastructure platforms, managed services, application delivery and content. On the content front, for example, Sun has already done a lot of work with Vodafone to provide Java-based games and ringtones, Jordan-Smith said.

The company has drawn up a list of 40 initial telco targets, and a further 400 that it intends to approach.

The group will be based at Sun's new facility in Boston, with close access to many Northeast industry players, and leading universities, he said. Jordan-Smith, who is based in the U.K., will move to Boston in March.

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